Remember the sacrifice of soldiers on D-Day
This June 6 will mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Normandy. Most people are much too young to remember.
On that morning, those young men, members of truly the greatest generation, stormed the beaches of Normandy. Each year on this day, I remember my father, who was with the First Division and landed on Omaha Beach. There are not many of these men still with us and those here are not so young anymore.
Sometimes we need to be reminded of the sacrifices that they made. We will never see the likes of them again. So I'll remember all of those brave heroes on June 6. We owe them everything.
There is one thing I would like to tell them. They were the last words my father said to me before he passed away: "Thanks a million."
Description of honor salutes not accurate
Re May 27 Gazette, Section C, Page 1 picture caption: It seems to me that if one wishes to honor past military events, such as the American Revolution, World War II, etc., it would be wise to at least do them the courtesy of accurate description.
Page 1, Section C, featured a picture of a number of men in 18th Century attire firing muskets into the air. Your caption said they were firing a "21-gun salute." They were not. They are firing a volley into the air.
If this were done over the grave of a deceased soldier, it would be followed by two more, rendering the traditional three volleys to honor a fallen comrade. Even if there were seven men firing the volleys, it would not constitute a 21-gun salute.
In this case, it would seem to be a celebratory act.
A 21-gun salute is given only to honor a head of state. Thus, for example, it might be rendered for Queen Elizabeth or President Obama, but not for the prime minister of the United Kingdom, who is only a "head of government." In addition, a "gun" salute (as opposed to a volley) is fired by a cannon, not a musket or a rifle.
For the military, a "gun" is defined as a "crew-served weapon," that is, it requires a crew of two or more to fire it properly.
This is certainly not a critical matter, but it does seem to me that if we are trying to show honor, we ought to be able to make an effort to describe our commemoration correctly.
Thomas O. Kelly II
Let cities decide use of red-light cameras
The May 21 editorial, "Red-light cameras mean stop," points out a much bigger problem and draws an incorrect conclusion.
Red-light cameras have been allowed in New York state since the early 1990s, when they were permitted in New York City by home-rule legislation as a "demonstration project." I did sponsor (as a member of the City Council) a request for enabling legislation for the city of Schenectady in April 1996. The state Legislature failed to grant this request.
While 18 years have passed since Schenectady put in a request for red-light cameras, other municipalities have been granted authority via home-rule legislation implementing demonstration projects. It is foolish that after two decades of using red-light cameras in this state (and across the country for that matter) we should still be implementing demonstration projects. There is enough data -- red-light cameras either work or they don't.
I believe they help in intersections with higher traffic volume and should be used as a tool to increase compliance. But it is an embarrassment that any community in this state has to seek home-rule legislation for red-light cameras.
The state Legislature should use the two decades of data and put in place criteria for red-light cameras that would allow communities to help manage municipal traffic patterns instead of making cities stand in line for individual authority.
Gary R. McCarthy
The writer is the mayor of Schenectady.
The Gazette wants your opinions on public issues.
There is no strict word limit, though letters under 200 words are preferred.
All letters are subject to editing for length, style and fairness, and we will run no more than one letter per month from the same writer.
For information on how to send, see bottom of this page.
For more letters, visit our website, www.dailygazette.com.